By the time July rolled around, Phillip was beginning to sweat and it had nothing to do with the summer heat. He walked into the lobby of Athena Biosciences located in what was commonly referred to as the “Innovation Cluster” near Kendall Square in Cambridge because of the number of biotech, pharmaceutical and high-tech startups that occupied the area. As he took the elevator to the executive floor, he reflected on his current circumstances. When he showed up at Nina’s office a month ago, he thought his consulting offer and dinner invitation would have been enough to win her over, but he miscalculated her resolve, or maybe her hatred of him was more intense than he realized. Not even sending compromising photos of her with another man made a difference.
His backers were putting pressure on him to take care of any potential scandal lurking in the shadows that could derail the project. He had taken care of Tracey and he was confident she would keep quiet. He was shelling out enough cash every month to make sure she did. Theresa was a senior executive at a major cosmetics company in New York and was quite happy having as little contact with him as possible. Only Nina was left; his beautiful, infuriating, fiercely independent Nina. He thought getting sentimental was for fools but he had to admit it was great seeing her again. The strange thing was, he found he liked spending time with her. He was behaving like some lovesick teenager who kept finding reasons to see her. But make no mistake about it, he would break her if it became apparent she posed an imminent threat to his goals. He did it once and he could do it again. Only this time, it might get messier. He had to consider her husband. From what his investigator told him, Marc Kasai adored Nina and would battle to the death anyone who tried to hurt her. Plus, he had to tread carefully because Nina’s father-in-law could become a valuable ally.
Ben Obasanjo had been a friend of Phillip’s for almost thirty years. He was CEO of Athena, the first African-American to helm the company. He was responsible for turning the company around financially, and Athena now earned over $1 billion in profits annually, a record achievement for a firm its size.
“So you’re really going to do this?” Ben asked, as he sat across from Phillip in his richly decorated office.
“I don’t see why not. I have people crunching the data as we speak. I expect good news to come out of that.”
“You know you can count on me.”
“Yes. I need you to mobilize your contacts, potential high net worth donors who might see things our way and actually have the influence to get us where we want to go.”
“Consider it done. What about that problem we discussed last week? Any closer to a resolution?”
“Nina is a little bit more stubborn than I anticipated, but nothing I can’t fix. She won’t be a problem.”
“You better be sure, brethren, otherwise you could be finished even before we get this project off the ground.”
Phillip knew Ben was right, he wasn’t telling him anything he hadn’t mulled around in his own mind a million times. He had confided in Ben about his recent challenges in getting Nina to see things through his lens.
“I introduced her to Geraldine.”
Ben looked at Phillip curiously. “How did that go?”
“They like each other.”
Ben slammed his palm against the desk with enthusiasm and a big grin. “There you go. It looks like things are working out, so what are you so worried about?”
“She has to be handled carefully and deliberately.”
Ben nodded in agreement. “Makes sense. There’s a lot of history there.”
“Not just that. Her father-in-law might be very useful to us.”
“Oh, yes. Doctor Paul Kasai. Good man. I’ve met him on a couple of occasions.”
“Let’s hope he’s good enough to throw his support to the project.”
Ben got suddenly serious. “We’ve known each other a long time, Phillip, and I believe you’re a good man.”
“Where are you going with this?”
Ben reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a key. He opened the top desk drawer and removed a small manila envelope, the type with the bubble wrap inside.
“When you told me about your plans, I remembered something I had in my possession. I should have gotten rid of it years ago, but I didn’t, and as time went by, I forgot about it.”
“What is it?”
Phillip knew Ben well enough to know he didn’t fool around. Whatever this was, it was major. He could see tiny beads of sweat forming on Ben’s forehead.
Ben handed Phillip the envelope. “I think after you hear this, you’ll know what to do.”
“It’s not my place to pass judgment and I’ll always be an ally. But you shouldn’t have done it. Let’s leave it at that.”
#1 Amazon Bestseller in the suspense and women’s psychological fiction categories.
Boston executive Nina Kasai has been living a lie since her days as a student at Stanford University. But she’s about to learn that some secrets are too big to stay buried.
Years ago, Nina fled from her life of wealth and privilege and vowed never to look back. The horrifying truth has been locked away in her hidden diary, and in the mind of a disturbed woman who will never tell, ever. However, the perfect life she’s since created is about to come crashing down when Phillip Copeland –a ghost from her past with political ambition and secrets of his own, makes Nina an offer she can’t refuse: her silence in exchange for his.
Soon, it all goes horribly wrong when a shocking double-cross sends Nina reeling, and devastating loss threatens to push her over the edge. To make matters worse, her diary, the only link to her secret past has been stolen.
To reclaim her life and bring this twisted game to its stunning conclusion, Nina must confront the past she’s been running from, and find the courage to make a life-altering decision that leaves multiple casualties in its wake.
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Genre – Psychological Suspense
Rating – R
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